Lady Hornets get season started with jamboree in Benton

By Rob Patrick

Though they lost eight seniors from a team that narrowly missed qualifying for the Class 7A State Tournament, the Bryant Lady Hornets have received an infusion of talented young players for the 2010 season. With the return of two seniors and a solid group of juniors, head coach Beth Solomon expressed excitement about the team’s prospects.The

Lady Hornets play in a pre-season jamboree on Thursday, Aug. 19, at Benton before their official season-opener at home against Fountain Lake on Tuesday, Aug. 24.[more]

At the jamboree, the girls will play a game to 21 against Little Rock Christian at 5:30 p.m. then Mount St. Mary’s at 5:50. At 6:30, they’ll scrimmage Benton. They’ll wrap up with scrimmages against Malvern at 7:30 and Little Rock Mills at 7:50.

“Things are going really well,” Solomon said. “We look good, better than we did at this time last year. Even though I lost eight seniors, I’ve got seven sophomores that moved up.”

As freshmen, that group posted a 15-5 record, 12-2 in Central Arkansas Conference play.

“Several of the sophomores will be playing varsity,” Solomon acknowledged.

Senior Amber Cope leads the returning group. Senior Sydney Manley saw some varsity action in 2009 with Lauren Reed, Maggie Hart and Brianna White among the juniors that played considerable time. Taylor West and Alex Boone return for their junior years as well along with move-in Jordon Francis.

The sophomores include Alyssa Anderson, Courtney Davidson, Britten Hays, Brooke Howell, Hannah Rice, McKenzie Rice and Kaylon Wilson along with move-in Haley Sherrill.

As for starters, Solomon said, “We’ve got a pretty good idea as far as going into Thursday but Thursday will be our chance to see how it works or to see if we need to go back and make changes. But we’ve been working all summer so, at this point, we’ve got a pretty good idea.

“This year was the first year that I was able to take all the girls to camp with us,” she added. “It’s the first year that they all went. So I think that we’ve already got a jump start on developing the chemistry and the teamwork you need.”

The team attended team camp at Missouri State University in Springfield.

“It went really well,” Solomon mentioned. “The girls all improved, which is kind of the point of it. They got to know each other and kind of got to experience how they play together.”

Hart and White will be the starting middle hitters with McKenzie Rice and Davidson starting as the outside hitters.

“We may put Brooke Howell in there some,” Solomon said of the outside spots. “We’re moving Amber Cope to the right side then Hannah Rice is also going to be our setter. Back row, we’re going to have Lauren Reed playing Labero. Taylor West is going to be probably our defensive specialist playing outside on the leftside. She’s also a back-up setter. Sydney Manley’s going to go in and play back row on right side some for us.

“I’d like to get something established and get it going so when conference starts we know what we’re doing and the girls play together and they know who they’re with,” added the coach. “That helps a lot.”

Solomon sees her team as a bit more stout offensively this year.

“I don’t think I can know that for sure until we start playing games,” she allowed. “We’ve got a lot of power hitters. I think we’ll be a good offensive team. We may switch from a defensive team to an offensive team and try to make things go our way a little bit more.”


2010 volleyball schedule

Aug. 19 — Benton Jamboree

Aug. 24 — Fountain Lake

Aug. 26 — Malvern

Aug. 28 — at Little Rock Spikefest

Aug. 31 — Benton

Sept. 2 — at LR Central*

Sept. 7 — Mount St. Mary*

Sept. 9 — at Cabot*

Sept. 14 — Russellville*

Sept. 16 — at Conway*

Sept. 18 — at Russellville Tournament

Sept. 21 — at Van Buren*

Sept. 23 — at North Little Rock*

Sept. 28 — LR Central*

Sept. 30 — at Mount St. Mary*

Oct. 5 — Cabot*

Oct. 7 — at Russellville*

Oct. 9 — at Lady Cat Invitational, Conway

Oct. 12 — Conway*

Oct. 14 — Van Buren*

Oct. 19 — North Little Rock*

Oct. 21 — Central Arkansas Christian

Oct. 26-28 — Class 7A State Tournament, TBA

Oct. 30 — Class 7A State Finals, TBA

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